…from the quills of the dead white poets
William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)
(From “Hamlet, Prince of Denmark”)
Yet here, Laertes! Aboard, aboard, for
The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail,
And you are stay’d for. There, — my blessing with you!
And these few precepts in thy memory
See thou character. – Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportion’d thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Graplle them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
But do not dull your palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch’d, unfledg’d comrade. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel; but, being in,
Bear’t that the opposed may beware of thee.
Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice:
Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express’d in fancy; rich, not gaudy:
For the apparel oft proclaims the man;
And they in France of the best rank and station
Are most select and generous chief in that.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be:
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: — to thine ownself be true;
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell: my blessing season this in thee!